General and youth-specific state alcohol control policies and drinking among high school-aged youth
Methods: An Alcohol Policy Scale (APS) score was constructed based on the presence or absence of 29 state-level alcohol policies (after weighting each policy based on its relative efficacy and degree of implementation in states) for each U.S. state-year from 2000-2011. Using similar methods, 2 additional scales were created: one restricted to the 14 policies targeting the general population (P-APS), and another restricted to the 15 youth-specific policies (Y-APS). Data on state-level youth drinking prevalence were obtained from the Youth Risk Behavior Survey from biennial years from 1999-2011. The relationship of state-level youth drinking prevalence and P-APS was examined using linear regression models.
Results: In separate bivariate analyses, the APS, Y-APS and P-APS scores were all significantly inversely associated with youth drinking prevalence (APS beta=-2.20, R²=0.24, p<0.01; Y-APS beta=-3.67, R²=0.19, p<0.01; P-APS beta=-3.09, R²=0.18, p<0.01). After controlling for Y-APS scores, there was a significant independent inverse relationship between P-APS and youth drinking (beta=-1.94, p=0.0008) that was comparable to the magnitude of the association between Y-APS and youth drinking.
Summary: A strong state-level alcohol control environment is associated with less drinking among high school students. In addition, policies targeting the general population may have a strong impact on youth drinking.
Learning Areas:Conduct evaluation related to programs, research, and other areas of practice
Public health or related laws, regulations, standards, or guidelines
Public health or related public policy
Public health or related research
Social and behavioral sciences
Differentiate between alcohol policies targeting the general population versus alcohol policies targeting youth and discuss the relationship between each and drinking among high school-aged youth.
Keyword(s): Alcohol, Public Health Policy
Qualified on the content I am responsible for because: I am a physician and alcohol policy researcher at the Boston University School of Medicine, where I am also the Principal Investigator of the NIAAA grant funding this project.
Any relevant financial relationships? No
I agree to comply with the American Public Health Association Conflict of Interest and Commercial Support Guidelines, and to disclose to the participants any off-label or experimental uses of a commercial product or service discussed in my presentation.